Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gorilla Suits

Bizarro is brought to you today by Johnny Steele. "That's just my name! I'm made of flesh and blood, just like you!"

I was in Oakland, Californy a couple weeks ago doing a show with my good buddy and far superior stand-up comic, Johnny Steele, and he agreed to let me turn one of his lines into a cartoon. Thanks, Johnny! Say hi to Allison for me.

This cartoon gives you another chance to fill the comment section of this blog with our thoughts about vegan vs. meat-eating lifestyles.

Here are some of my comments, based on the myriad comments on yesterday's blog post, "Chicken Chaser."
Some may not make sense without reading those comments first:

By "meant to eat" I did not mean to imply intent, as in creationism or intelligent design. I should have said "evolved to eat."

Though we are classified as omnivores, human anatomy is ill-suited to eat much meat at all and doesn't need any to be healthy. Consumption of animal products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy) is one huge reason why so many of us die of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Length of intestines, type of digestive enzymes in our stomachs and saliva, shape of jaws and teeth, lack of physical hunting skills, strong aversion to the sight and smell of a dead animal, are all natural indicators that we are not well-suited to meat eating. True meat-eaters are attracted to that smell.

Someone mentioned the postition of our eyes (front-facing) as that of a predator, not prey (side-facing). Our eyes are that of a creature that needs depth perception for living in trees, not that of a predator. Few primates are true predators, but all have stereoscopic vision. Pandas have stereoscopic eyes but are completely herbivorous.

John Mayer's comments on yesterday's post (Chicken Chasers) best represent my beliefs and knowledge on this subject. Check them out, or go to his site:

"Personal choice" is a factor in whether or not you eat meat, of course, and some feel that we veg-heads should leave them alone. I never evangelize in person and try not to do too much of it here, but for those of us who do not believe that humans are inherently more valuable than members of other species, there is a "helpless victim of cruelty" issue that makes it difficult to keep our opinions completely to ourselves. We see animals like most people see human children: subject to the same emotions and needs as adults, but unable to procure them for themselves in all cases. So if I assail you for eating meat, it is born of the same impulse that you might experience toward someone abusing a human child. Our rights end where someone else's begin.

It bears noting that evolution takes millions of years for substantial changes to begin to show. Humans were undoubtedly 99% vegan for the vast majority of our early history, like chimps and gorillas, our closest relatives. It was relatively recently in our evolution that humans began to stray away from the tropics, developed tools and language, and began hunting big game. Recent enough that our bodies have not changed substantially since then. Except in this way.

Enough of the serious stuff. How about this?


Jeremy said...

Weird, the rabbit's mouth looks like human female labia.

I like the flat screen TV touch, very modern.

Is it just me, or is Dan appearing in more and more comics lately? I wonder if this cartoon will slowly become a cartoon starring Dan? That would be cool to try out for a week.

derekamalo said...

howmany differant ways can piraro draw himself ...ive counted ten last couple years

Penny Mitchell said...

It's always interesting to see people wince and get so upset when they see a deer or dog or cat plastered along the side of a highway...and then go eat a hamburger. We're awfully good at segmenting our emotions in this society.

Jezzka said...

that is johnny steele on the couch there.

Jeremy said...

Johnny Steele doesn't wear eyeglasses.

Good point, Penny! :)

Jezzka said...

johnny doesn't wear glasses? then who the hell is that on my couch?!! and how did he get into my make-believe house?! who said that?

Wife Off The Grid said...

Penny - I couldn't agree more. I have many friends who are part of the "horsey set" and when I make comments about eating horse meat they are appalled and yet they think nothing of chowing down on a cow or chicken or pig....
I always make a point of asking professionals who are involved in caring for animals (ie. vets, humane society workers, wildlife rehabilitators, etc) if they eat meat and in amazes me that most of them do. In other words they will devote their lives to saving SOME animals but think nothing of eating OTHER animals. Go figure....

Anonymous said...

I'm a vegetarian, have been since for 19 years.
My architecture teacher, who is a pescatarian (spelling?), said that every vegetarian she's ever known has had at some point neurological problems due to vegetarianism. She said she used to be a vegetarian but now eats fish to combat neurological issues.
Has anyone else ever heard of this? When she told me I started getting worried about having been a vegetarian for so long.

Mike Duffau said...

i left my opinion about it on the Chicken Chasers blog....enjoy!

keep punchin'

Lorie said...

Dear julianmaestas,

She's crazy.

Penny Mitchell said...

What lorie said. ;-)

Jeff said...

"I never evangelize in person and try not to do too much of it here"

You have to be joking. Almost every post you make here is telling not to eat meat or to vote Obama or anti-republican.
Just in a quick glance, it seem to be a 2-1, maybe even a 3-1 post ratio somehow linking in the above topics.

isee3dtoo said...

Referring to the comic:

I love it when someone says "It's good for you, it is 100% natural". My reply has been for years "So is arsenic".

Recently, my 77 year old mother was being hustled by a well meaning young lady trying to sell her something 100% natural. My mom replied "So is arsenic". As my mom puts it the young lady then looked at my mom and said "Why would you say that, arsenic would kill you" and my mom replied "Its 100% natural". Needless to say, my mom didn't have to hear the rest of the sales-pitch.

I love it.

isee3dtoo said...

Concerning the blog:

I can't stand the smell of rotting flesh, but that is why God gave us FIRE ...mmm.... BBQ!

HollyBerry said...

that's me sitting on the couch... i scrutinize every single advertisement i see and make up the "new" slogan as it would be if it told the truth. my friend gets mad at me.

HollyBerry said...

well, evangelize actually means to convert to christianity, so both piraro AND jeff are wrong.

i see jeff's point, that yes- dan does talk about his beliefs a lot on here, and he does it quite often.

but i have to say, jeff. piraro doesn't try to convert anyone.. he simply tells how his own choices are good for him and wants to share the wealth.

when you discover a new great way to cook potatos, the first thing you want to do is spread the good news. but people already like chips, and french fries and baked potatos, so they don't want to try your new-fangled way of preparing potatos. you want to try in all your being to at LEAST get people to TRY your new potato, but you know that if they don't like it they can yunno, NOT eat it.

he knows being vegan is healthier than most diets out there, and he is trying to share his knowledge. but i wouldn't call it evangelizing. he's not trying to make us blindly obey him for any kind of gain. and i say "good for you" for at least having beliefs and sticking to your guns. shows the strength of knowledge, and nun of us iz dummys, yo.

Lorie said...

"Weird, the rabbit's mouth looks like human female labia."

What does human male labia look like?

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SAYOTTE316 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janta said...

It doesn't really matter to me whether we have evolved one way or the other, and I don't get into arguments about that. What matters is that we can survive perfectly well and healthy (even healthier!) on a vegan diet, and so it comes down to choice. Most of us have that choice. On that note, I hope you all had a happy World Vegetarian Day! :) As for me, I'm looking forward to World Vegan Day on the 1st of November. I'll be going to a Vegan Day picnic amongst the blossoms in the Botanic Gardens, but for those of you in the northern hemisphere, look out for potluck dinners or food give-aways somewhere near you :) If you're an omnivore, just try it! It won't kill you (or anyone else, for that matter) :)

Superhero Spouse said...

Darn you, Dan, where'd you find that photo of me pre-plastic surgery? I was sure I'd had them all destroyed!

munchy365 said...

jesus christ, long comment o.o

that fat person picture was the same one i used in my blog, theif. but i deleted that post yesterday anyway

isee3dtoo said...

sayotte316 -- This may sound rude, but if you want people to comment on your long stories, and I know you have a blogspot website, why not post the stories on your blogspot website and invite people to join you?

My response to something that long is how fast can I scroll to the bottom. Not the response you want. Individual comments should be shorter than the blog in my book.

I do admit I have no idea if your comment is relevant to the Dan's blog for the day because once I noticed the length, I said who cares?

Pseudonym said...

I'm always torn on comments like this.

On one hand, people should know where their food comes from. Even for omnivores, what humans eat has ethical implications, and we should all be fully informed.

On the other hand, a lot of pseudoscience gets trotted out by both sides. Any causal connection between omnivorism and stroke, for example, is tenuous at best and nonexistent at worst. (There are no credible studies which link them causally, and the non-credible ones usually don't control for things like sedentary lifestyle.)

And yes, there's pseudoscience on the other side, such as the "our eyes face forward" bit.

Apart from certain groups like the Inuit who are carnivorous by necessity, humans and their near-relatives (e.g. Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, chimpanzees) are all occasional meat eaters. In our early milennia, most of our diet was from gathering, with the occasional hunt thrown in to give us the nutrients that gathering usually doesn't.

Westerners typically eat more meat than we've evolved to handle. A diet that involves, say, one meat meal a week, is probably the closest to what we've historically consumed.

Having said that, only affluent Westerners could possibly eat a vegan diet, because it relies critically on modern agriculture, transportation and so on. In most places in the world, an organic localvore environmentally-sustainable vegan diet is essentially impossible. In particular, pretty much all subsistence farmers couldn't manage it.

That's why I think that lacto-ovo-vegetarianism, with some fish for omega-3 thrown in, is much more realistic for most of humanity.

Jeff said...


We are using evangelize as in the first example.

1. evangelize - preach the gospel (to)
preach, prophesy - deliver a sermon; "The minister is not preaching this Sunday"

2. evangelize - convert to Christianity; "The missionaries evangelized the Pacific Islanders"
convert - cause to adopt a new or different faith; "The missionaries converted the Indian population"

Jeff said...

"jeff. piraro doesn't try to convert anyone"

Shortcake, I didn't mean he is try to convert people or anything else, I just meant that he evangelizes, preaches, speaks a lot about those subjects.

Anonymous said...

Can't we just get along?

Janta said...

Pseudonym, you can eat flax seed oil for omega 3s. No need to kill fish :) I take flax seed oil every day. You can have it in a fruit smoothie, on your cereal or in your salad dressing. Or you can just take it straight (I have 1 tablespoon morning and evening, and sometimes one during the day as well). I can highly recommend it to anyone with asthma.

Janta said...

Oh, and you need to make sure flax seed oil is kept refrigerated. Best to buy oil produced locally rather than imported from overseas. And you can't cook with it, because it loses it's properties when heated. But it really is fantastic :) One less excuse not to go vegan/vegetarian, haha

Pseudonym said...


Oh, and you need to make sure flax seed oil is kept refrigerated.

I think that supports my main point. If you live in a climate where you can't grow flax seed, if you're a developing-world subsistence farmer, if, if, if... then a vegan diet is inappropriate, and quite possibly irresponsible.

The more I look at it, the more I see that veganism is a luxury that only affluent people in the developed world can afford. Only we have the time and technology to be able to maintain it properly.

Of course, none of this changes the undeniable fact that the overwhelming majority of people in the affluent developed world eat far more meat than we have evolved to handle.

Milko Georgiev said...

Nice cartoon! Nice strokes! But the relation between food and strokes is different.